Is There a Place for Nutritional Therapy in BED Recovery?
Although I’m sure you would agree with me that our emotions are at the forefront of binge eating, our physical needs must be met as well. By ‘physical’ I don’t mean running or doing crunches, I simply mean the body as a whole.
Our nutrition, hydration, movement, rest, stress, the list goes on.
It is easy to think that your body should be punished because of your eating habits. You may be someone who purges through vomiting or who purges through excessive exercise. Either way, your body will be suffering as a consequence.
BED destroys not only your emotional well being but eliminates the balance that the body requires. This displays itself not only with poor digestion but also with lacklustre skin, weak hair and nails and dark circles around the eyes.
It may be that you are simply used to interchangeable diarrhoea and constipation and assume that this is how your life will be forever. Are you searching for a toilet nearly as often as you seek out food? Is holding in gas becoming more and more embarrassing? The digestive system is very complex and needs a good balance of macro and micronutrients to keep it in good working order.
Even though talking to a professional about your emotions plays a significant role in your recovery, it’s imperative to gain a deeper understanding of how your body functions so that you can make sure your body learns how to heal from your disordered eating as well as your mind.
I talk to my clients a lot about blood sugar balancing. When we eat foods such as breads, vegetables, cakes, sweets and fruit, these foods, known as carbohydrates, are digested and broken down into glucose. Glucose is sugar in its simplest form. After digestion, glucose is carried in our blood to our cells where it is converted into energy that allows our bodies to function, move and stay warm.
Regulating our blood sugar enables us to have a steady stream of energy. Eating too much or too little puts a strain on our body’s systems. Eating too much may lead to weight gain, and cause serious conditions such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Eating too little can engage a response from our nervous system that drains our energy reserves causing us to feel shaking and agitated. Having a steady supply of glucose enables us to perform optimally without causing the body stress or fluctuations in behaviour.
Foods that release their sugars quickly are called simple or refined carbohydrates. These foods tend to have little fibre, which slows the release of glucose. Carbohydrates that contain plenty of fibre, such as oats and leafy green vegetables, release their sugars much slower and are known as complex or unrefined carbohydrates.
However, your average binge eater does not binge on leafy green vegetables! And eating a diet high in fast releasing sugars such as cakes, sweets, biscuits, white bread, chocolate etc as well as restricting in between will encourage your blood sugar levels to quickly rise and then drop rapidly causing a yo-yo effect of rapidly rising and crashing. The image below illustrates this:
Blood testing is the easiest way to establish a starting point towards your physical recovery and working out if you have any dysfunctions or deficiencies within your body as a consequence of your binge eating or indeed if anything may have exacerbated it.
Blood tests help you to discover if you have a dysfunctional thyroid for example. Finding this out for yourself could be critical to your recovery. Equally, discovering a fatty liver could be a sign that you may be consuming too much alcohol.
Finding out more about how your body is working is really helpful towards physical recovery but only after establishing emotional recovery first.
I always include a blood test when I work with clients. It give you a further understanding of how your body works and if any dysfunctions could be contributing to your low mood, weight gain, low energy, need to binge among other symptoms.
You will also discover if you have any vitamin or mineral deficiencies for example low iron = low energy, low vitamin D = low mood/poor immunity, low magnesium = low mood/high stress.
If you would like to speak to me to find out if I can help you, I offer a free 30 minute discovery call. Just click below to book a time that suits you.